The Satkosia Gorge is a unique feature in geomorphology of India. Here Mahanadi has cut right across the Eastern Ghats and has formed a magnificent gorge with sylvan beauty and excellent features.
The Satkosia Gorge with its magnificent floristic composition and amazing faunal diversity on both of its northern sad southern side over an area of 795.52 sq Km. has been notified as Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary in May, 1976. Out of the above area, 530.01 sq Km. is in northern side of the gorge inside Satkosia Wildlife Division within two districts of Angul and Cuttack. The rest area of 265.51 sq Km. is in southern side inside Mahanadi Wildlife Division within two districts of Nayagarh and Boudh.
The Baisipalli Sanctuary coterminous with the administrative limits of Baisipalli Reserve Forest in Nayagarh district has been notified in the year 1981 over an area of 168.35 sq Km.
The Satkosia Tiger Reserve comprising Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary (part) on its north and Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary (Part) & Baisipalli Sanctuary on its south has been notified on 31st December, 2007 over an area of 963.87 sq Km.The geographical co-ordinates of the extreme points of the Tiger Reserve boundary lie on 20º 23' 40" N and 20º 45 ' 36" N Latitudes and 84º 32' 35" E and 85º 05' 24" E Longitudes, The total area is inclusive of the Core area or critical Tiger Habitat of 523.61 sq Km.Out of the total area of 963.87 sq Km., the area to the extent of 530.01 sq km of Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary to the north of Satkosia gorge is in Satkosia Wildlife Division and rest 433.86 sq km is on the sourthen side of gorge inside Mahanadi WIldlife Division. Out of the area on the sourthen side of the gorge, 265.51 sq km comes under Satkosia Gorge Sanctury (part) & 168.35 sq km under Baisipalli sanctuary.
The area of Satkosia Tiger Reserve supports moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest and moist peninsular Sal forest. This area is the home for Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Mouse deer, Nilgai, Chousingha, Sloth bear, Wild dog etc., Varieties of resident and migratory birds, reptilian species( Gharial, Magar, Crocodile, Fresh Water turtle, Poisons & Non poisons snakes etc.)
The Forest Department of the Government of Orissa with technical support from the UNDP and FAO decided to start a breeding programme of crocodiles during March 1974. As a part of this joint conservation initiative, the Gharial Research and Conservation Unit (GRACU) was started during March 1975. The GRACU had done pioneering work in crocodile conservation in India. The activities include Conservation Breeding; releasing of reared crocodiles into the wild and its rehabilitation had been some of the challenging activities carried out by the centre.